Phacoemusification Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery has undergone substantial improvements over the last decade and is now routinely performed using ultrasound energy = phacoemulsification. This small incision "key-hole" technique involves "breaking up" and removing the cloudy lens using controlled ultrasound energy and placing a new clear intraocular lens implant inside the eye.

Phacoemusification Cataract Surgery

In experienced hands the procedure has an extremely good success rate with a high level of patient satisfaction. Despite having a number of challenging cases my surgical complication rate, over the last 10yrs, is 0.11% (ie: 1 complication in every 1000 cases) compared to the reported national average in the UK of 1.8% (nearly 2 complicated operations in every 100 patients undergoing cataract surgery).

Picture of the phacoemulsification ultrasonic handpiece used for cataract removal

Picture of the phacoemulsification ultrasonic handpiece used for cataract removal

Close up of the handpiece "tip" which is inserted into the eye through a small 2.75mm wound

Close up of the handpiece "tip" which is inserted into the eye through a small 2.75mm wound

Cataract surgery is most commonly performed as a day-case under local anaesthetic, either topically with anaesthetic drops or using a sub-tenons "block", whereby a blunt-ended cannula is used to introduce anaesthetic into the eye socket. Some patients prefer to be sedated ("twilight anaesthesia") and for a number of reasons a few people have the procedure under a short general anaesthetic. The different anaesthetic techniques are fully discussed in order to choose the optimum method for any individual undergoing cataract surgery.

A combination antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drop (four times a day) is most often prescribed following the surgery. Typically the post-operative recovery is painless and relatively quick, with the final result often achieved within 2 weeks of the operation.